The call from Pita Sharples to offer open access for maori to university has raised many issues relating to race relations in this country.
The main arguements against this approach are that it is not fair, we are one country, if you give maori special treatment - what about everyone else, and it is detrimental to maori to be given special treatment because it creates the view, both internally and externally, that maori can't do it on their own.
Examples here are taken from the comments section of the article on Stuff. I am being selective but only to show the types of lines used by those opposed to maori.
"Nathan #10 08:40 am Jun 18 2009
I am sick and tired of hearing about special treatment for the Maori. I am in no way a racist and have many friends of maori decent. What if the shoe was on the other foot and the "pakeha" wanted special seats in parliament, special medical centres, special seats on the super city and now special rights for access to university without having earned it by putting in the hard yards at school, what an outcry that would be! Can't we get over this racial segregation and just be New Zealanders??"
"Trevor #24 08:48 am Jun 18 2009
"We have seen how the dice are loaded against Maori" You have to be joking!! We all have the same opportunity as any other race....this is racist and should be stopped NOW."
"Andy #37 08:54 am Jun 18 2009
I'm sick of the racist comments by the Maori party. There should be one rule for all New Zeandlanders no matter what the race."
"Diane Elizabeth Warrington #67 09:08 am Jun 18 2009
This makes me so angry. What about every other student who works diligently and consistently to get a real grade to further their education? Why should one race get a free ride? Focus in school, go to school, every day, attend every class, do the work THEN reap the rewards of an education. Someone who can't cut it in school is absolutely not going to cope in the university world. Failure breeds failure. Success comes from hard work, even the brightest and best get there by working and often BECAUSE they work hard. Diane"
"Debbie #102 09:31 am Jun 18 2009
I feel really embarrassed for Maori people, that this leader is implying his people are too dumb to get to Uni on their own merits. I am sick to death of maori people getting "special" treatment, it is absolutely ridiculous - stupid part is maori I speak too are not the ones claiming victim, it is all the leaders! STOP singling your people out, you are causing them shame! they want to live beside the Pakeha and other races in peace just like we want to live beside them as one nation."
"Michelle Brown #112 9:48am
I could feel my blood boiling listening to this. They are no more special than everyone else in this country and there are other ways to encourgage that culture to step it up. This is not the answer, there are alot of NZ european students that struggle through main stream schools and work as hard as the next and fail to pass levels to reach the Uni stage, why should Maori's be put ahead of these, we need equality for all when looking at the ones who under acheive and establish why they underacheive, I struggled throughout college and fail in a test environment, yet I have acheived middle to senior management roles within my career through obtaining the opportunities within the workforce and working hard to move through the ranks.
I am absolutely outraged at the thought of this being acceptable, the government needs to put a stop to it. The Maori's need to take stop making excuses for their poor performance and start working hard like the rest of us and I am not racist, I was married to a Maori, but sick of them constantly looking at what they can get next without doing the hard yards like the rest of us. signed Underachiever"
"Alan #140 10:20am
Maori have more opportunities than the rest of us already. Sharples can stick his idea."
"mel #145 10:23am
ridiculous! why should Maori get free passes into uni, why not anyone with "miserable" grades? This whole idea angers me, if you can't get through high school, then maybe university isn't for you! I am quite sick of this whole race thing in NZ, why should any race get special treatment!"
"Seb #180 10:46am
Unbelievable. This kind of issue doesn't deserve media coverage and is an insult to all New Zealanders, including Maori. If Dr. Sharpes and his like really want to help Maori he should focus on the integrating them into the wider society where they can contribute and achieve on their own merits when given the confidence to do so. If they are constantly told the only way they can get anywhere (eg, university, parliament, auckland supercity council)is by preferential treatment, they will continue to believe it."
"Alice van der Wende #195 11:01am
There is only ONE NEW ZEALAND / AOTEAROA.
All New Zealanders here should have equal rights and be governed by one law.
If we want to get ahead and do well in life - we should all work for it and work hard then New Zealand will be the best country to live in the world.
End of story."
Not really too much to say about all that other than this is what we are up against in trying to create a country based on values of fairness for maori.
And these comments from this one, you can just add to the list above. I have zero respect for Shane Jones.
"But Labour MP Shane Jones, who was educated at Harvard, said Dr Sharples' call only deepened the sense of Maori as victims.
"This notion that we can make every kid into an astrophysicist without addressing basic literacy and numeracy and other learning impediments which have to be addressed well before they go to university show he's more interested in cheap rhetoric.""